Regardless of sector, high volume recruiting is always a challenge for recruitment teams. You either need to hire a lot of great people in a short space of time, have a large number of applicants to process or both. The average job advert receives around 60/70 applications. A high volume position receives well over 250 applicants; just imagine the admin!

The whole process can be costly, time-consuming and result in a negative experience for all involved. Until recently recruiters relied on spreadsheets, but luckily tech has moved on and there are many solutions available to make hiring (even at high volume rates) stress-free, efficient and effective.

Here are our top suggestions:

  • Communicate your company culture (even when not hiring)
  • Embrace Social Media & utilise PPC advertising
  • Automate selection & communication where you can
  • Don’t compromise quantity for quality
  • Analytics: Track time to hire/Track source of hire/Track conversion rates
  • Nurture your talent pool
  • Remove hiring bias
  • Finish the journey & inform all participants

Communicate your company culture (even when not hiring)

To get the best from your employees it is important that they are fully on board with your values and your vision. You want them to be 100% committed to achieving your company goals. That is why it is important to invest in promoting your company culture, help potential employees understand what it’s really like to work in your organisation, before and during the hiring process. Most of the companies we work with are very good at promoting culture during the hiring process, however it is just as important to promote company culture at all times, even when not hiring.

Attracting candidates whose values and work styles align with those of your company will make your recruitment process smoother, as you won’t have to sift through candidate profiles that aren’t a match in any way. It also works the other way around. Candidates who don’t like what they see will deselect themselves from the selection process.

Celebrate your people. Your business cannot survive with your people, celebrate their successes inside and outside work and share these successes with the rest of the wider community.  

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To ensure you’re getting candidates who fit in your company, showcase your company culture through as many channels as possible and communicate why you’re a great place to work. This can range from a detailed section within your careers page on your website, including real life stories from current employees, charity fundraising days, team building excursions etc. Make ‘day in the life video blogs’ and share these across your channels. Use real people in your videos and any imagery, it’s easy to spot the ‘photo stock’ employee. Ask current employees to write reviews on sites such as Glassdoor (the equivalent of TripAdvisor for job seekers), the more positive real stories a potential applicant can see the more likely they are not only to apply but to thrive in your company when they join.

Embrace Social Media & utilise PPC advertising

Social media is a channel that is yet to be fully utilised by companies seeking to attract and engage applicants. There is little point in simply putting up ‘we’re hiring’ images at the point when you are desperate for staff, and even less point if you have no followers on social media. That said, social media is a great sourcing pool, it could be where your next star employee is hanging out so let’s take a look at how, as recruiters, we can get more from our social media profiles.

Going back to point one, we can first use social media to promote our company culture, sharing stories of company successes, employee activities, promotions and charity fundraisers. Good news stories shared with the local community help generate a good feeling about your business and a sense that you are a good employer, so when it comes to hiring, your followers should want to apply.

Social media channels such as Facebook also have many advertising tools designed to help you get your jobs in front of the right demographic. Unlike traditional print press & job boards, social channels give you the opportunity to pick the profile you wish to target, breaking it down by job title, interested, age, geographic location and much more. Set your daily budget and time frame and if you can connect your adverts to your recruitment marketing software to monitor advert performance and results.

PPC advertising is not just limited to social media, the rise of new job boards such as Indeed and Adzuna enables recruiters to again target by demographics and set daily/weekly/monthly budgets, with the ability to switch advertising on and off as and when needed. These ‘job aggregators’ as they call themselves also offer free advertising opportunities that are well worth tapping into.

Automate selection & communication (where you can)

Having an applicant selection platform is essential for high volume recruiting, as it allows you to automate certain parts of the selection process and shortlist candidates in a short amount of time. 

Candidates are confident in the knowledge their application has been submitted through automated confirmation emails upon submission. Recruiting managers can receive notifications when applications are received & reminders to log in and start screening.

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Including pre-employment screening questions within your online process helps match candidates with the right skills and characteristics to your roles, eliminating those that aren’t the right fit and importantly informing applicants when they have been ejected from the process. Such automation saves recruiters a lot of time, time that they can then spend on building and nurturing relationships with the better suited candidates instead.

Here are a few things to look out for when choosing a high volume candidate selection platform: 

  • The ability to handle large volumes of applicants
  • Allows you to customise the online assessment experience per role
  • Option to set hiring benchmarks
  • Creates a branded experience for your candidates
  • Automates parts of the communication process
  • Tracks the source of all applicants

Never compromise quality for quantity

Even if you need to hire a lot of people during your high volume recruiting drive, you should never compromise on quality of hire. It should never just be about bums on seats.

A recruitment process targeting the right demographic will attract the volume of applications you need, include appropriate online assessments to test both hard and soft skills to short list the best applicants and finally the right interview questions to help you spot the qualified candidates faster. 

Before using LANDED, one of our clients admitted to only ever reviewing about 50% of the applications received as they simply didn’t have the time or resources to manually review all the applications received.  Since incorporating LANDED’s hiring solution into their recruitment strategy they have not only increased the volume of applications received but they have seen an increase in the quality of applications received. They have also been able to reduce screening time by over 50%, even though they are receiving more applications! Our client is more confident with their hires and have also reported a reduction in staff turnover, even in roles with traditionally high turnover rates.

High volume recruiting should never mean compromising on quality of hire.

Analytics: Track time to hire/Track source of hire/Track conversion rates

Knowing how long each stage of your high volume recruiting process takes will help you identify the bottlenecks, where do the applicants drop out? This then allows you to optimize your process further for future recruitment drives.

There are many metrics to measure throughout the process, undoubtedly time to hire is one of the key metrics you should be focusing on because as indicator of how efficient your process is and how well your hiring team is doing. Time to hire is also important because it is directly linked to Cost of Hire – the longer you take to hire, the more it is going to cost you (either directly or by affecting your bottom line). In terms of your reputation, a long and drawn on recruitment process doesn’t reflect well on you and can impact interview attendance. Many applicants lose interest in a job if the process takes too long, especially if they haven’t been given a clear indication of time scale.

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If your recruitment software is connected directly to your advertising channels you should also be able to track the source of all your applicants. Ideally you want to be able to see not only who applies but also the conversion rate from those who have viewed your job advert to those who actually apply, and even more crucial which sources are providing the hires. Over time tracking the source of your hires will give you more knowledge about where to spend your advertising budgets, leading to reduced costs of hire & better hires.

Nurture your talent pool

Your recruitment software solution should enable you to ‘pool’ talent for future hires. You can’t hire everyone first time round, there will be applicants who just miss out on an opportunity. Rather than casting them into the reject bin it is better to add them to your talent pool where you can nurture them, keeping them informed of future opportunities and inviting them to remain in contact with your company.

What you don’t want to do is spam your pooled applicants with needless communications, that won’t reflect well on you. But do send them updates with engaging content about the company, your employees and activities. Keep them excited enough that when your hiring again they are first in line to apply.

Remove hiring bias

You may believe that you and your team don’t have any hiring bias, however unconscious bias is something that is ingrained in us humans. We make almost 35,000 split second decisions each and every day. And most of those are decisions we don’t even know we are making. Try as we might, we can’t always escape hiring bias. 

The best way to mitigate against hiring bias is to be conscious of common biases and ensure your team are trained sufficiently to recognise and avoid them. 

Many companies have implemented AI (Artificial Intelligence) believing this can identify the best person for the job. However, hiring bias can still manifest even if you’re using AI, especially if you are using algorithms in your pre-selection. Algorithms are based on previous human decisions and can thus replicate biases as well as positive traits.

There are lots of ways around avoiding bias, but some of the easiest to implement include: 

  • Use assessments to evaluate actual skills, not candidates’ background 
  • Blind hiring – removing all irrelevant information about the candidates, especially at the short listing stage (such as name, school details, address etc)
  • Have a consistent and transparent hiring process.
  • Provide interview training to all hiring managers.
  • Create a standard interview guide/questionnaire and don’t let hiring managers deviate from it.

Consider the applicant & recruiter journey (from start to finish)

You can actually make the journey of high volume recruiting a pleasant experience for both the recruiters and the candidates. By using the right tools for job advertising and candidate selection, you can keep the journey as short as possible and ensure candidates are engaged with your recruiters throughout the entire process. Even the most challenging high volume recruiting process can become a smooth, enjoyable event.

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Simple steps such as an easy to complete online application portal, relevant screening questions and good communication throughout can all make a huge difference. Candidates will feel more informed and recruiters will be less stressed and more in control of the hiring process.

Consider the journey from start to finish and use technology to remove barriers that in the past have slowed you down or forced you to make poor decisions.

SUMMARY

High volume recruiting needn’t be a pain or something to dread and, most of all, high volume hiring shouldn’t compromise your standards. With the right tools and a well devised strategy you can have both happy candidates and happy recruiters.

Emma Gunes, CEO & Founder LANDED Hiring Software